Yoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors
Bower JE et al. – A targeted yoga intervention led to significant improvements in fatigue and vigor among breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue symptoms.Methods
- The authors conducted a 2–group randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and efficacy of an Iyengar yoga intervention for breast cancer survivors with persistent post–treatment fatigue.
- Participants were breast cancer survivors who had completed cancer treatments (other than endocrine therapy) at least 6 months before enrollment, reported significant cancer–related fatigue, and had no other medical conditions that would account for fatigue symptoms or interfere with yoga practice.
- Block randomization was used to assign participants to a 12–week, Iyengar–based yoga intervention or to 12 weeks of health education (control).
- The primary outcome was change in fatigue measured at baseline, immediately post–treatment, and 3 months after treatment completion.
- Additional outcomes included changes in vigor, depressive symptoms, sleep, perceived stress, and physical performance. Intent–to–treat analyses were conducted with all randomized participants using linear mixed models.
- Thirty–one women were randomly assigned to yoga (n = 16) or health education (n = 15).
- Fatigue severity declined significantly from baseline to post–treatment and over a 3–month follow–up in the yoga group relative to controls (P = .032).
- In addition, the yoga group had significant increases in vigor relative to controls (P = .011).
- Both groups had positive changes in depressive symptoms and perceived stress (P < .05).
- No significant changes in sleep or physical performance were observed.